Its with tears in our hearts that we send you this message of the passing of our brother, Russell Edward Kirkeby. Russy passed away, December 24th, at Lakeland Village where he had lived for 65 years. Russy was born to Donald and Katharine (Storaasli) Kirkeby on June 17, 1946 in Spokane, Washington. In 1951, he was placed at Lakeland Village, a home for retarded children in Medical Lake. His journey of being mentally retarded and living his life, and seeing life, as a 3 year old, brought out the child in all of us. How we will cherish our memories of himhis laughter, his love of car rides, birthday parties, blue balloons, Johnny Cash, train rides, horses and people. Im honored to have been his Sissy, to have held his hand throughout his 70 years and, to have been one of those who experienced his unconditional love. It was this, he shared with everyone he met. How blessed we were to have had him in our family! He is my hearts companion. Russy was preceded in death by his parents, Donald and Katharine Kirkeby. He is survived by his brother Donald, his sister Susan, nephews, Chris Kirkeby, Todd (Lisa) Smelcer; Nieces, Tami (Marc) Hensley, Lisa Kirkeby, Kjrsten Smith, Anna and Nikk Hensley; Tayler Nichole and Charlotte, and Spencer Hampton and Teddy and his beloved Lakeland Village Family. To you, the staff of Lakeland Village; words cannot express how much you all have meant to the Kirkeby family. For all the wonderful care that you gave him, he truly lived in a world of love, thank you. We will be celebrating Russy on Saturday, January 14th, 2016 at 2:30p.m. at Greenwood Cemetery with Blue candles, blue balloons and Johnny Cash singing. In Russys memory, please take your best friend for a car ride, stopping at McDonalds for a milk shake, and looking at the world through the eyes of a 3-year-old.
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